Bali

In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.

Albert Camus

Unlike many cultures around the world who celebrate the New Year Holiday with fireworks, clanging pots and pans or other devices for noise making, the Bali culture has its own unique celebration. A Day of Silence which means no vehicles, people, bicycles on the road, no lights or candles in the homes, all shops are closed on the entire island and no noise like television or radio. All restaurants and the airport are closed. This wonderful holiday to experience is called Nyepi and watchmen called Pecalang are all over the island making sure people obey the rules.

The Hindu Balinese dedicate this day to connect more deeply with God through introspection of personal values like love, generosity and kindness along with fasting and meditation. An old folktale shared by all tells the story that after the first two days of loud celebrations of the New Year Holiday, the island on the third day goes into complete silence to protect itself by tricking the evil spirits into believing that the island enveloped in tranquility is deserted. My hotel provided food for the day as tourists were not allowed outside the walls of the building. Taking this quiet day of looking back helps one to understand the things that lie ahead.

Jackie Chase

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